«The Open Unpublished Letter
E. Kudusov, the late 70th,
This story began in 1982. I happened to read be chance the critique in the magazine “Young Guards”. It exasperated me, and I wrote the respond in the form of an open letter that I sent to the author via the editorial. It’s natural that the letter remained unpublished.
Lev Nikolaevich Gumilev mentioned here after he read the copy of this letter first of all asked whether the person who signed under this letter real or not (I signed it with one of my pseudonyms). I responded. Then he warned me that if the State Security Committee would find out the real author I will not survive prison.
Unfortunately, Lev Nikolaevich’s warning appeared to be prophetic. Less than in a year a nasty, malicious and far-fetched case was fabricated against me and I was imprisoned for four years.
It’s natural that A. Kuzmin – “a person close to the Emperor”, Stalin supporter in views and methods of “scientific reprimand” played not the least role in this case. By the way, he still has the real possibility to influence the people’s ideology, and who lately was the head of Institute of History of USSR and the deputy editor of “Questions of History” journal. It’s natural that this very fossil couldn’t forgive me such an open and so forward criticism of his activity.
I would like to publish the mentioned above letter not only because of revenge. Not at all. Though, more than six years passed since I wrote it and the political situation in the country changed significantly, the letter didn’t lost its urgency. Many of the ideas set in it still remain unknown to the majority of people, regardless the fact that they were not considered (I hope) to be seditious. Seizing the favorable situation of pluralism I would like to make them public.
E. Kudusov, «Qasavet», 1988
Mr. A. Kuzmin!
Recently I happen to read by chance you critique on V. Chivilikhin novel “Memory”, published in “Young Guards” magazine. The article provoked complicated feelings in me, though I haven’t read the novel. However, it appeared that it wasn’t even required in order to understand what you were talking about and what you were going to convince the reader in. Mr. Chivilikhin was just a cause for you to express yourself once again concerning the topic that evidently very much disturbed you. However, because of the excessive emotions you failed explaining the reader clearly what credo did you stand for. Though, it was quite clear what you rejected. That is why your article turned to be so confused, emotionally unbalanced, and included improper to the scientist yell and even threats addressed to your opponent. At that as strange it might seen, the opponent appeared to be some L. Gumilev, though the logics proposes that it supposed to be Mr. Chivilikhin. However, you recall Chivilikhin very seldom just to observe the decencies in order just to justify oneself before the reader. That is why as a reader I was surprised: “What Mr. Chivilikhin and his novel to do with it?”
After reading this article one has the firm believe that you, Mr. Kuzmin terribly hate some Gumilev and look for any pretext in order to attack him with “generous” curse, accusing him in terrible sin – wrong way of thinking (in certain periods of the human history one could be even got executed for this – and you openly hint on this). Your uncompromising purposefulness resembles me the commonly known Caton the senior who always ended his speech on the occasion or not with the following phrase: “And Carthage must be destroyed!” It seems like you seize any opportunity in order to remind everybody that Gumilev “must be destroyed” as well.
That is why your article looks more like an anathema then the quiet analysis of the literary work that, as I already mentioned, had the most remote attitude to the article’s content.
I should admit that before I’d read your article I knew almost nothing about Gumilev. The real interest in him and his work was aroused in me after your “noble” curse. In your anathema you just slightly revealed some of his ideas. I started talking to other people about Gumilev, read some of his works and after a certain time I made the following conclusion: first, Lev Nikolaevich Gumilev is one of the prominent scientist of the present; second, his popularity exceeded all possible limits. It might be astonishing, this is the fact.
By the way, the beginning of your article was very good. You directly pointed that the interest of non – historians to the history, and their turning to it is the “gap between the science and the public demands”. Indeed. Here my interest in history, as you had noted is quite natural.
However, I would like to speak, but to be more precise to argue with the historian not in general about something, as I just said, but about that the history is presented here too one-sidedly, picking up only those facts that are worth showing at the present moment, without taking care about the objectiveness of science, and consequently, the right conclusions. Recall the reshuffle with Shamil for instance: fist he was called the national hero, then he was called the agent of English colonizers, then the religious fanatic. In general, for few years during my studying at school he was presented to us under the most different tilts. What objectiveness of science one could speak of after that. It is natural that the authority of history among us – pupils was, to put it mildly, not very high. Because of this deceive I didn’t like the history from my very childhood and didn’t consider it for science. Only when I grew up I understood that it wasn’t the history that had to be blamed, but the historians. For some reason they rejected eagerly the dissent, though even the beginner scientist knows that the development of any science, including the history is impossible without competition of various opinions, and without dissent. It seems to me that you, comrade Kuzmin, have another point of view. You belong as I understood to the category of Soviet historians that alienate the whole generations from the history. However, the main conclusion is that the person who rejects other’s dissent can’t be called the scientist. One could be the historian, but not the scientist. There is nothing unusual in this thesis. The unusual is: when the historian non-scientist (amateur), starts teaching the historian – scientist.
Maybe I’m wrong in my reflections? Then you have to recognize the right of others to independent and original ideas. However, you failed to meet this test and attacked Gumilev with the obscenity that is improper for the scientist. You see, in your article you time and again almost threatened him with massacre for his independent thinking. Is this the way the scientific arguments should be carried out?
Though, I shouldn’t teach you the ethics of carrying out of discussions. Let’s better speak about the specific issues.
You started your bilious attacks on Gumilev with the critique of the conception of passionarity introduced by Gumilev. Though, I never understood whether you accept or reject it. Because mentioning it once you said nothing else against it. Though, you said a lot of things that did not make you credit against Gumilev. Nevertheless, among these unsystematic abuses I personally found out that Gumilev defended the doctoral thesis on Geography (except history). That he published his works in mass media, thus allegedly acquiring the cheap authority of public, and so on and so forth. Moreover, all this was presented in negative light, as though Gumilev engaged in unnecessary things that defame the name of the scientist (when one couldn’t find anything vicious in a man, but has the aim to soil him, one had nothing, but to present his virtues as sins).
As far as the very definition of passionarity concerns, as far as I know, nobody could deny it yet in a scientific way. Your reasons are just ridiculous. Reread them once again. Maybe you will laugh too.
Then you didn’t like that Gumilev gathered dispassionately the historic facts (without rejecting the disagreeable ones) and on their grounds made conclusions that not fully comply (but, usually do not comply) with the modern demand. So what? This is the essence of the science – impartiality! The science and the real scientist do not care whether you like it or not. In case the scientists would follow what was desired, the science would have disappeared long ago. The most deadly thing in your “scientific” (if it may say so) argument was “exposure” of Gumilev in impartiality. Let me cite your phrase literally: “How one could understand the indifference and even sympathy with the conception of outrage upon the memory of fighters the successors if not his body than his spirit?” for the life and freedom of the whole people – asked you passionately in your complicated phrase, without finding other arguments against Gumilev’s next conception reflecting the objective reality, but that, however, did not please you. As you consider yourself the “Successor if not of the body”. It appears that if you are a successor - you shouldn’t be objective? Indeed, you as far from being a scientist as to the moon. Though, demagogy is your weapon. However, one could understand – you don’t have any other arguments. By the way, it is always so when one has no proofs, one replaces them with the emotions and demagogy. Not in vain the ancient said in such cases: “You get angry, Jupiter, it means that you are not right”.
Trying to deny Gumilev’s conception you couldn’t provide any other historic fact (it seems like they would pour water on your mill). However I had such opinion that you either have no such historic facts or intentionally ignore them, counting for the ignorance of the reader. In this case this is at least disrespect to the reader to whom you address, trying to please his favor.
You took up arms against Gumilev because he took the 2nd century as the moment of appearance of Slavs… Who could tell for sure when they appeared? You know for sure that in the scientific circles there were various assumptions and hypothesis concerning this issue. That is why if Gumilev took one of the existing hypothesis that did not contradict to the known historic facts about Slavs as the basis for his conception, well he has right to this. There isn’t anything seditious about it. This hypothesis suited most to his conception that is why he used it. As far as the figure 1200 concerned, how Gumilev estimated the average age of the ethnic group, as far as I know he has very serious unpublished work (in three volumes) now being in depositor. By the way in this work he provided very detailed and clear grounds for this in order that even you could understand it. Well, you should acquaintance yourself with it, considering that you deal with Gumilev. Then you would have no need to vast your precious nerve cells accusing your opponent in the ungrounded scientific conclusions.
Then you were indignant at the attack of militant Turk tribes from the East on poor Slavs in the 13th century and that they shaded a lot of Slav blood preserving for some reasons their own. However, later on the conquerors mixed with the conquered population (as it used to be before and after) and formed the new ethnic group of Velikoroses (as against the Malorosses and Byelorussians). You accuse Turks (or Tatars, as they used to be called in Russia) for their cruelty shedding crocodile tears mentioning these poor Slavs, as though Slavs showed themselves less severe when they made the similar raid on Persia or Byzantium. Where did you get such Slavophilism? After all you are not Slav – you are Russian. It means that in your veins runs equally Slav and Tatar blood. It’s a historic fact and you can’t get rid of it whatever sympathies you have now.
I stressed the word “now”, because the sympathies are the ephemeral phenomenon. By the way, if it is interesting for you I could tell you where these Slavophil sympathies came from.
They started implanted in population three hundred years ago in the reign of Romanov dynasty. At the same time the definition “the Tatar yoke” was invented. Where are the connections? Let’s recall the history.
The first Russian Emperors were Ryurikoviches. It didn’t mean of course that they were Norman – Varangians. However, no anthropologist dares calling them Slavs as well. After all the Dukes did not choose their wives from the subject smerds. The historians know well that the Dukes and especially Great Dukes didn’t marry for love. Since the ancient times marriages were the political unions and the ethnic origin played little role in them. That is why one could say only relatively about the ethnic origin of Slav Dukes. In Kiev Russia’s time, for example, a lot of Dukes became related with Polovetz Khans. The well known Duke Ihor who by the way was half Polovetz, because his mother and grand mother were Polovetz, and Khan Konchak was his relative and not only because Ihor’s son married Konchak’s daughter. The wars at that time had no national character, but were predatory and internal, when one relative usually fought against his half-brother and in order to achieve his goal got the mercenaries as allies from the “field”, in other words - Polovetzs. That is why the retinues from the both sides were made up both of Polovetzs and Slavs. Moreover, it’s a common knowledge that the right of equal vote in Kiev Veche had also so called “Black Klobuks”, in other words the permanent Polovetz settlers whose number was quite big. So, Slavs “becoming related” with Polovetzs appeared not only on the higher levels, but also on the low levels. By the 13th century this relating acquired such extend that when Chingizkhan’s troops reached Polovetzs’ lands (the Russian lands were far off) he met the united Slav – Polovetz army.
Thus, it is quite hard to tell who has more Tatar blood: Russians or Ukrainians, because Polovetzs were as a matter of fact the same Tatars. All this considering it is quite difficult to speak about the ethnic origin of Slavs of the 13th century (particularly when it comes to Kiev Russia).
Moscow Dukes who began their family tree from Alexander Nevsky also usually married Golden Horde princesses because of the political considerations. As a result the first Russian Emperors were to a great extent Tatarised. Generally speaking at those times it was prestigious to have the relatives in the Horde. In fact Moskovia was literally packed with people originated from the Horde. Tatar language was as widespread as Russian, and all state officials spoke it as though it was their mother tongue. There was no need in translators. The Great Moscow Dukes and the first Tsars recruited eagerly Tatar princes and other Golden Horde mercenaries among Cossacks (in other words people who were forced to leave their native tribe and family, who lost their nomad land and consequently turned to the outcasts, wanderers). Being on state service these people took an active part in all major events undertaken by Moscow governors. Kasimov Tsars (there was even such puppet khanate on the southern outskirt of Moscovia that included the territory with such towns as Kasimov, Serpukhov, Zvenigorod and others) participated with their Cossacks in all wars carried out by Moscow, and always had a great influence in the court. Many Tatars were converted into Orthodoxy and became Russians. The third Russian Tsar – Boris Godunov, as a matter of fact, was pure-blooded Tatar, though Christianized, that is why he was already referred to as Russian. Before that the Russian throne occupied another Kasimov Tsar Christianized at that occasion into Simeon. Undoubtedly, it was Ivan the Terrible’s dummy pawn and that is why the historians never took Simeon seriously, regarding his accession to the throne as Ivan the Terrible’s whim. They were right. However, it is another question. I just want to emphasize that the attitude to the persons of Horde origin was nothing of the kind of 300 – 400 years later. Nobody considered them as the bearers of so called yoke. There wasn’t even such definition at that time. Even if Moscow fought with Horde it pursued only one goal: either protect oneself from robbery or rob something for itself. In general, in Ryurikoviches’ time Moscow fought mainly with neighbor Dukedoms trying to conquer them. As the Great Moscow Dukes usually possessed the label – right to gather tribute for Horde – they left the lion's share of this tribute themselves, and thus could have the well equipped army and with its help they conquered the neighbor dukedoms. However, the most cruel and bloody wars were between brothers – Slavs. When Ivan the Terrible took Novgorod and Pskov he literally slaughtered the majority of the population of these towns personally taking part in general slaughter of civil population. However, he showed mercy to the Kazan citizens, though he tried suppressing them four times, spending years on conquering Kazan. Moreover, Kazan Khan who sent Ivan the Terrible the humiliating letters, thus seemingly provoking him to an incredible cruelty, was moved by Ivan the Terrible to Moscow and Christianized there. This is where Yusupov Dukes came from.
All this once more testifies to the fact that the attitude to Tatars at Ryurikoviches’ times was honorable and there was no even idea of Tatar yoke.
As far as the wars concerns, at that time the people’s attitude to war was like something natural and even necessary. In the past wars always were cruel regardless of who carried them (recall Old Testament). It seems like such were people, so they were educated. Humanity is the new phenomenon (from historic point of view).
However, this is another question. I’d like to continue my reflections about sympathies. Slavophilism appeared far later when the western blood (German as it was referred to at that time) started flowing in Russian nation. It started again from “top”. Let’s recall who Romanovs were.
Mikhail Fedorovich and Aleksey Mikhaylovich didn’t differ greatly from other former Emperors. After Aleksey Mikhaylovich married Naryshkina for the second time, he didn’t break the tradition of becoming related with Tatars, because Naryshkin family originated from Crimean Khanate, the most powerful state among Moscow neighbors (Russian Emperors kept on paying the annual tribute to Crimean Khans and grandees). However, Aleksey’s son Peter broke the established order and married (for the second time) German. Since that time all his successors of blood or connexion, aimed their amorous – political efforts exclusively at the West. Indeed, how it could be another way, after all starting from Peter III and Catherine II the Russian throne was occupied exclusively by the pure-blooded Germans!
Who was Peter III! He was the Holstein prince Karl-Ulrike and he became Romanov in the result of the game of fate - evil game that led him to death. His father was the favorite of Catherine I – Peter I’s wife. So Peter’s daughter Elisabeth Petrovna invited Karl-Ulrich calling him from Gernamy, then married him to German princess Sophia-Frederica Angalt-Tserbska who drag out a miserable existence somewhere in Prussia on the rights of the poor relative. “As though recalling her parents, Elisabeth Petrovna called Karl-Ulrich - Peter, and Sophia–Frederica – Catherine in honor of her mother. They were given the surname of Romanovs. This very newly converted Peter was proclaimed by the sovereign the heir of the throne” – Petrischev A.B. wrote (pre-revolutionary edition). How easy it was to give the surname at that time wasn’t it?
Then everything went even easier. The son of Catherine II Paul and Peter III married princess Württemberg - Stuttgart whose maiden name was Sophia – Dorothy – Augusta – Luisa. After she became the wife of “Russian” Emperor upon conversion to Russian Orthodoxy she took the name Maria Fyodorovna. They gave birth to four heirs and few daughters.
Alexander had no heirs and left the throne under the mysterious circumstances. His place was taken by Paul’s third son – Nicolas I. It is natural that he was married German: the daughter of Prussian King Frederica – Luisa – Charlotte – Wilhelmina who, after her conversion to Russian Orthodoxy, became Alexandra Fyodorovna.
The next Emperor Alexander II, the son of Emperor Nicholas I married Princess Maximiliana Wilhelmina Augusta Sophia Maria of Hesse-Darmstadt who, following her conversion to Russian Orthodoxy, became Maria Alexandrovna.
Alexander III the son of the mentioned above married couple married Danish Princess Maria Sophia Frederica Dagmar (1847-1928), who became Maria Fyodorovna.
Finally, son of Alexander III, Nicolas II also married Alisa, Ludwig II, Grand Duke of Hesse’s daughter, who became Alexandra Fyodorovna.
The mentioned above list testifies to the fact that for three last centuries Russia was ruled by pure-blooded Germans (it was the real yoke, but German one). Nevertheless, they were called Russian Emperors, though had nothing in common with Russia. It’s natural that they didn’t feel any relative sympathy to the subject people. On the contrary, they stifled it in cold blood, using the policy: “Divide and rule”. The choice of such policy was suggested by the life itself. The thing is that in the class state, in which moreover prevailed two opposing powers which were sharply defined: ruling clique and oppressed people. The situation under such simple alignment of forces is very unsteady. This was confirmed by Pugachev rebellion very soon. By the way it showed that people fight against oppressors jointly as a single one regardless of their ethnic belonging. Tsarism scared it very much and it started looking for any remedies to prevent such excess in the future. First of all one should separate people in order to disperse its forces. How? Historically Russians’ relations with Tatars were so close that there wasn’t any national discord between them. This could be proved by the quote from Pushkin’s research “History of Pugachev” in which he tells about the beginning of Yaik Cossacks, when in the 15th century they settled on Yaik River.
“Next to the new settlers roamed few Tatar families who separated from Golden Horde uluses and were looked for free lands on the banks of the same Yaik River”. First, these two tribes fought against each other, but later on they established friendly relations: Cossacks started marrying women from Tatar uluses. There is a poetic legend preserved until now: Cossacks who loved the single life agreed: to kill the born children and gave up their wives when setting into new military campaign. However, one of their Ataman whose name was Guglya violated this severe law first showing mercy to his young wife. The rest Cossacks followed the example of their leader and submitted to the yoke of family life.
Till now the educated and hospitable settlers of Ural banks at their feasts drink for the health of grandmother Gugnikha”.
This story tells about the uniting of Cossacks with “Tatar families” on Yaik. The same thing took place on lower Dnieper, Don and Kuban. In 1601 the Poland ambassador wrote that among Zaporozhye settlers were “Poles, Muscovites, Volokhs, Turks, Tatars, Jews and in general people speaking all kinds of languages”. So, not only the representatives of fair sex came to join the Cossacks of Dnieper, Don and Kuban. Vendetta, hostility with Khan or some lower Lord and beggar life made Nogay Tatars, Crimean Tatars and Cherkesses droving them out to free steppe. The price of their adoption to Cossacks was usually conversion to Orthodoxy. However, even this condition wasn’t strictly observed. For example, the history testifies that during the whole generation first Zaporozhye then Don Cossacks’ leaders there were two claimants to the Crimean throne: brothers Muhammed - Girey and Shagin – Girey. Becoming outcasts in 1601 they first settled next to the Moscowy boundaries making predatory raids and selling prisoners. Following the Government of Moscow request to restrain the raged brothers who gathered around them an enormous crowd of Cossack-cutthroats Crimean Khan Dzhany-bek-Girey set against them. There was a bloody battle next to Ak-Kerman settlement in which Cossacks were defeated. Nevertheless, in 1623 Muhammed – Girey came in handy. When Turks decided restoring the authority of Dzhany-bek-Girey, the brothers set against them at the head of hundred thousands army, including one thousand Cossacks, armed with rifles. This time Tatars of Muhammed – Girey crushed Turkish army capturing the majority of them. An interesting thing: Tatars exchanged the captured Turkish janissaries for a tub of buza per one person – such was the price of the professional high rank soldier. Though, in a couple of years, Dzhany-bek-Girey united with Kan-Temir – the deadly enemy of Shagin-Girey, who came with his own horde from Dobrudzhy, and defeated the obstinate brothers and they again run to Cossacks. After this for many years they repeatedly made raids on Crimea leading first, Zhaporozhye Cossacks, then Don Cossacks until eventually died at the battle fields (today the guides over Bakhchisaray palace tell the tourists about Cossacks raids on Crimea meaning this very period of fight for the authority over Crimea, but they intently fail to mention who leaded Cossacks and with what purpose). By the way soon after the mentioned above events, already on Peter I’s time Kan-Temirs (Kantemirs) left Porte and went to serve Russian Emperor and gave Russian state some brilliant outstanding personalities (see encyclopedias, better pre-Revolutionary). However, I digressed again.
Thus, the history testifies that there wasn’t any national hatred between Russians and Tatars up to the 18-19 centuries, though they fought against each other from time to time. However, I repeat, these wars were internal. People never knew and never felt so called Tatar yoke. You see, Golden Horde did not interfere with Russia’s affairs. The tribute was picked by Russians as well. There were only Dukes who could be displeased because they wanted to leave themselves this tribute entirely. People didn’t feel any relief neither after battle of Kulikov, nor a hundred years later. That is why one not only had no idea of non-existing Tatar yoke, but couldn’t feel hatred to this yoke. The historic facts testify to the contrary. In this respect the example of Kazan Khanate was indicative.
After separation of Crimean Khanate from Golden Horde the Kazan governors were either Holden Horde, or Crimean Gireys outcasts. However, evidently it was hard to please Kazanians, because after a certain period they expelled their governors. Though, they did not create republic, but invited new Khan instead of the old, ousted one. Here we establish the most curious fact: Kazanians, sent their ambassadors to Moscowy (note, not to Golden Horde) in order that they sent them new khan. And Moscowians really sent them khans from their poppet Khasimov Khanate. However, if Kazanians, were not pleased with him they ousted him with undue familiarity, and then asked again Russian for another khan. All this considering Kazan fought against Moscowy from time to time. Though, all these wars looked rather like a quarrel in one single family (though, sanguinary one). Only the last khan, Dukes Yusupovs’ ancestor (also of Kasimov prince) occupied throne for a long period. He evidently managed to please Kazanians. The yoke appeared at post Peter time when Germans seized power in Russia. In order to deflect the blow from them the idea of some Tatar yoke was invented. The German yoke represented by Romanov’s Tsarism started spreading the national discord in order not to let the separated peoples united. Turk speaking peoples made up a huge power and the only way to cope with them was setting them against each other. Tsarism for three hundred years of Romanov’s government managed to do this.
As far as sympathies and antipathies concerns, Germans historically felt mortal hatred to Tatars, because it were Tatars who restrained and tamed great-power ambitions of Germans. Only they could oppose German expansion to the east. The West got shuddered just hearing their name scaring the invasion of Tatar army more than a plague. Not without reason did Alexander Nevsky took the vassal dependence on Golden Horde quartering Tatar garrison in Novgorod. The presence of a little detachment was quite enough to discourage the Teutonic order from conquering Russian lands. (Alexander Nevsky appeared to be also a wise politician when ten years after the well known Batiy’s invasion, who had no intention to occupy the devastated territory, came to the Golden Horde asking to take Russian lands under their protection obliging to pay the annual tribute of five rubles per average village. It was very few for the peaceful life as for those times). For Teutons Tatars were like a bone in the throat 100 – 200 years later as well, because Tatar mercenaries took the Slavs’ side in the wars against Germans. Even in the famous battle of Grunwald 1410 the Pole – Lithuanian army didn’t do without Tatar cavalry that by the way took the main attack for itself and bore the most losses, but ensured the victory over Teutons.
Thus, Germans had no reasons to love Tatars. It’s one more reason why Germans who governed Russia discriminated in every possible way Tatar people not only by administrative measures (prohibiting civil education, etc.), but also poisoning common peoples’ consciousness with the idea of former Tatar yoke.
Speaking about Russian people Tsarism apologists tried presenting Russian nation like Slav people, covering in every possible way the fact of their assimilation of Turk speaking tribes, though the history implacably proves that Slavs vanished from Russia already in 13-14 centuries. They were replaced by Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, but they were not already Slavs. Any ethnic group evolves, one faster another slower. In fact, ethnic group – people is a changing, unstable phenomenon: ethnic groups appear, develop and disappear. Gumilev defined the average age of an ethnic group in 1200 years. I think this is the theoretical figure, so to say, the ideal one. However, we do not live in an ideal world. That is why there may be the most different deviations. As far as I understood, you insist on that Russians are Slavs and nothing more. These very Slavs described by Strabon that lived in the 2nd century? What about evolution? What about the fact that people appear, then disappear somewhere? If you don’t agree with this and keep on repeating again and again the fashionable today phrase of Stalin époque: “Personalities come and leave, but people remain”.
Well. I hope like historian you know anthropology? In that case answer me please: is Pushkin Slav? Though for all that take into consideration that he is Russian to the very marrow of his bones. I can name a lot of other names such as: Turgenev, Aksakov, Karamzin, Kutuzov, Ushakov, Tolstoy, Tukhachevsky, Ogarev, Teneev, Kantemir, Davydov, Yusupov, Apraksin, Saburov, Velyamoniv, etc. This list could be extended up to few hundreds names. They all will have one thing in common: all of them have Tatar blood. Are they Slavs? Of course not. However, they are pure-blooded Russians. Because Russians are the mixture of Slavs and Tatars. The history does not bother whether you like this fact or not. It is just ridiculous to deny it. However, you deny it.
Unfortunately, you are not along. This proved your unruliness and forwardness when you express yourself addressing Gumilev. You might be sure in your impunity. The very fact that such undemanding and speculative article (your and Mr. Chivilikhin) came out speaks itself. It is obvious that some powers back and incite you. However, my letter won’t be published. It is clear. Any editorship publishes only those articles under which they can put their name.
At the end of your article you let yourself too much philosophy, throwing dust in reader’s eyes by pseudo-scientific lofty phrases. A naïve reader could really think that he really understands nothing in this bull shit, and that means that the author is a very wise scientist, and a poor reader starts feeling oneself like a full. I have to note that this trick is as old as the world and is designed for the straight men. Any a little bit literate man the more he knows the more clearly he states one’s thoughts. “Greatness in simplicity” – everybody learned this truth. Only you didn’t get it.
However, before turning to the vague reflections you touched quite specific issue – the number of Batiy’s Army. It’s very small number dispirited and irritated you. How it could be! The thirty thousand army, moreover divided into three parts, could conquer ten million Russia! This number must be exaggerated by any means at least ten times. Some modern writers do so. You and Chivilikhin blame those who agree with Gumilev concerning this number – 30 thousands.
Why did you decide that it was Gumilev who invented this number? Haven’t you read pre-revolutionary studies? Long before Gumilev’s birth the historians agreed with this unfortunately non-prestigious fact. Read Brokgauz and Efron’s encyclopedia.
You don’t want to believe in facts only because you (and your masters) didn’t like them. I understood it at once. And you are ready to falsify the history in order to please your vanity, because you consider yourself Slavs’ descendant. Be historian (not only “Slav”) and agree that if Russia had even twenty million population, and Batiy – only twenty thousand warriors even then he had conquered Russia.
You see, what Russia looked like at those times? It was feudal separated scrappy country. No unity at all. Every Duke considered himself the hub of the universe and fought only separately. How large was his retinue? Just few hundred people. Smerd – Slavs? You see at that time they had no idea about national self-consciousness that today unites people. Indeed, they were ready to defend only the land on which they lived. However, this was a tiny land. That is why Batiy could easily finish off with every dukedom separately baring almost no losses. His tumans ten times exceeded the separate Slav retinues. Even though they didn’t exceed them the military equipment and organization of Tatar - Mongol army exceeded any army in the world at those times. They almost had no equal enemies.
I think there is no need in inventing the non-existing tumans in order to please the pseudo – pride for Slav pre-native-land. French do not grieve over the fact that in the past German tribes of Franks conquered their native Gallia, don’t they. Today’s French people formed in the result of this mixing of people. Why did Tatar invasion that leaded to the creation of Russian people hurt you so much?
You shouldn’t apply modern conceptions to those far away times and vice versa. You are historian and know well that many conceptions had the historic nature and appeared later than those events we are talking about now. There is nothing shameful if we acknowledge that not only Slavs von, but they were also beaten (and quite often, to be objective). So why when it comes to Slavs we should obligatory speak about their successes and battle victories, but when one speaks about Tatars, one obligatory emphasize their defeats (but not victories), their cruelty (but not their war like character), their treachery (but not their military cunning)? Aren’t Tatars the people of our native land enjoying the full rights along with the descendants of Slavs? (The modern chauvinistic movements like “Pamyat” society fostered by your propaganda. Enjoy it. (note made in 1988). What Slavs we are talking about when they disappeared long ago? Neither Russians, nor Ukrainians, not even Byelorussians are Slavs. As people say – even the full could understand this. So, what is the case? Why you are persistent at discrediting Tatars? You see, already more that sixty years passed after the last German Emperor that occupied the Russian throne was executed and who had all rights to hate Tatars. I recall that you are late with your statements for sixty five years sharp. There is no Romanovs’ dynasty anymore. Whose interests are you defending?
Gumilev was right. After Tatars poured their blood in Slavs, thus forming Russian nation, Russia from small dukedom extended to the powerful state that has no match in the world. Doesn’t it prove Gumilev’s conception of passionarity of people?!
In conclusion let me express you my gratitude and appreciation for opening me such an interesting phenomenon as Lev Nikolaevich Gumilev. Without your abuse I evidently would never got interested in him, just knowing him by hearsay that there is such historian, the son of famous poets N. Gumilev and A. Akhmatova. You opened the new world for me, an outstanding person that thinks fresh, brave and heterodox. Let me express you my sincere gratitude for that.
As far as Chivilikhin concerns, as far as I understood from your equivoque in the article this is quite a common person. There isn’t anything exceptional about him. He lives according to the present demands and has the views as trivial as yours. Only this one thing doesn’t make him worth of any attention and thus, can’t arise the reader’s interest in him. Though, you didn’t really analyze the novel “Memory”, but for me it is clear what it is all about. I follow the principle: “Tell me who wrote this novel and I’ll tell you how good is it”.